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Rome Itineray - I've done most of my homework; Needs fine tuning!

Rome Itineray - I've done most of my homework; Needs fine tuning!

Old Apr 4th, 2013, 01:26 PM
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One suggestion - see the Santa Prassede church. Best mosaics in the city by far. It's only about a block or so from Santa Maria Maggiore, and, IMHO, more spectacular.

Also...depending on traffic, walking can be as fast as the bus.

I found that a cheap, unlocked phone and a country-specific SIM is a very economical way to go...at least in Spain (Orange Store) where we were last May. The chip was 10E and came with 10E time on it. Adding time was a snap at the Orange Store...put your 5E bill into the machine and type in your phone number...presto!...instant results! No credit cards needed, though you do need your passport to buy the SIMs.

The people at the store put the chip in and checked to see that it was working correctly.

I'll be testing this out (with my $35 unlocked Samsung phone that I bought online -- I used a friend's phone in Spain) in Italy and Austria on our early May trip, and I'll get back to you with my experience. I hope there are stores similar to the Spanish Orange Store in Venice and Vienna..they were fantastically helpful.

Make sure you buy a phone with GSM 900/1800MHz band for Europe. Mine is a Samsung E1080 Unlocked Dual-Band GSM Phone. It had great reviews, but, as I said, I report back when I return.

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Old Apr 4th, 2013, 02:13 PM
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I second Santa Praesde - i have lovely memories of visiting it as we arrived there when a french choir were rehearsing which made it quite magical. we were following Rick Steves' mosaic churches walk which on this occasion proved very good.

do remember to have a store of 50c and €1 coins to put in the slots to turn on the lights for the mosaics.
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 11:06 AM
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I've just made a note on Santa Praesde. So many beautiful sights, so little time!

Thank you SS for the phone info. Very helpful!!
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 01:27 PM
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I've been following this post with high interest - lots of great info, which I am using for planning our own 7 days in Rome. Not enough time

Darlene, please post a trip report (and pictures) when you get back.
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Old Apr 8th, 2013, 12:59 PM
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A good website for info of all sorts is
The Church of Santa Susana-Home of the American Catholic Church in Rome

Visitor info-http://www.santasusanna.org/visitorInfo/visitorInfo.html


Public Transportation-http://www.santasusanna.org/visitorInfo/transport.html

Surprisingly, I found the Rick Steves Rome to be the best Guide book, check it out at B&N.
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Old Apr 8th, 2013, 01:49 PM
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What good information! I too am using a lot of this for planning.
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Old Apr 8th, 2013, 06:43 PM
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Dugi - what great info. I would not have thought to look here for such comprehensive visitor information. Thank you!
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Old Apr 9th, 2013, 04:20 AM
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Wow most of my trip inspiration comes from this extensive post.....hav a great holiday
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Old Apr 9th, 2013, 02:13 PM
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Some thoughts

I enjoyed both the Twilight Tour of Rome and Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Tour with Through Eternity. Of course it is all about the guide. The Twilight Tour is covered by Rick Steves Rome as "Night Walk Across Rome".

In addition to the Basilicas and churches you are visiting I recommend the following in case you are in the neighborhood:

SANTA MARIA MAGGIORI (basilica near Nat'l Museum)
for manger relics, mosaics, tombs of Sixtus V, and Bernini, Madonna painting and miracle relief.

Church of Santa Prassede (near Santa Maria Maggiora)
for mosaics, St Zeno chapel

Basilica San Paolo Fuori le Mura (St Paul's Outside the Walls)-via Ostiense 186, metro San Paolo
for mosaic portraits of all popes, cloister,courtyard.

Church of San Luigi dei Francesi (near Pantheon)
for Caravaggio chapel- calling of St Mathew, St Mathew and the Angel, Martyrdom of St Mathew.

Gesu(Jesuit) Church(near Pantheon)
for ceiling fresco, nave,Tomb and alterpieces of Sts Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier, Bernini sculpture of Cardinal Roberto Bellarmine, Manger Scene

Church of St Ignazio(near Pantheon)
for frescos

Santa Maria della Vittoria (near C Crypt )
for Bernini's St Teresa in Ecstacy

Santa Maria degli Angeli ( near Piazza Republica )
for Baths of Diocletian

Santa Susana ( near Piazza Republica )
for English mass being the American church
From their website:


Please remember that churches are primarily places of worship regardless of their fame as a tourist attraction. Dress accordingly (which means NO shorts, sleeveless or lowcut tops, miniskirts etc.) Don’t undergo the humiliation and/or frustration of being turned away at St. Peter’s due to casual summer dress. It’s an argument you won’t win. You can also be prepared with a shawl or wrap if you are in shorts or a sleeveless top.

Know that most churches are CLOSED between noon and 4:00 PM. They usually open again for three hours in the late afternoon. This can be frustrating for Americans as we’re used to a quick lunch and we’re ready to go again!. The Four Basilica's are open all day: Peter, Paul, Mary …. and John: Saint Peter’s, Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls, Saint Mary Major (Santa Maria Maggiore) and Saint John Lateran. The Vatican Museums (which is the only way to get into the Sistine Chapel) have limited hours. Go early and stand in line. GET UP EARLY. Plan on leaving your hotel no later than 8:30 AM. Otherwise the morning will go by and you’ll have missed everything!
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Old Apr 9th, 2013, 04:28 PM
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Have a wonderful trip to Rome!

My best moments in Rome have been first thing in the morning and late at night. The streets and sights are empty. Seeing St. Peter's or the Pantheon empty at 7:00 a.m. is amazing and so worth dragging yourselves out of bed.

I almost don't want to share this with anyone, but my husband and I loved this restaurant so much that we ate there three times during our last visit. The food and service were superb.


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Old Apr 9th, 2013, 05:49 PM
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I asked my cellphone carrier (Verizon) about phone service in Italy. They told me to call a few weeks before my trip and they would give me a loaner phone. I would just have to buy the SIM card. They made it sound like the cost would be very reasonable.
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Old Apr 9th, 2013, 07:29 PM
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The Rome Tourist Board lists all the historic churches (294 Catholic ones) with maps/hours/websites, etc. (click the name in red to get the info screen). You need to check times for mass or opening/closing hours again once you get to Rome as they can and do change.


Historic churches for other faiths:
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Old May 16th, 2013, 12:21 PM
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Mrs. B here - we are taking your exact trip: Paris, Florence Rome!!! I hope y'all are having a grand time and I can't wait to here all about it and your do's and don'ts!!!
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Old May 19th, 2013, 05:27 AM
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Rome is beautiful . I have spent my childhood in Rome. This was my best time on my life. I can't forget this moment.
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